IMHO Big Mtn would be great. Everyone must be forewarned, though, about its "dim spots" --
1. THE BIG FOG is its sorry nickname. It does get foggy pretty often, and because the Flathead Valley is prone to temperature inversions, the fog can be thick and multilayered. It doesn't bother me that much, but I know people who cannot ski in even mild fog. If any hopeful attendee dislikes skiing in fog, that hopeful should know TBM's fog propensity.
2. Sounds like Mark got a great deal 'cuz I haven't found lift tix or room rentals that cheap, and I was just up there last weekend! In other words, Whitefish and TBM are pretty expensive. There are squishy rumors that TBM is angling to bump its already-too-high $48/day lift ticket prices -- because the paucity of snow this year isn't supplying enough TBM revenue in comparison to the significant construction they're also doing right now. The strategy behind the high daily ticket rate is to encourage season pass buying -- TBM always has an outrageously low early-summer sale on the next season's passes. The Flathead Valley is developing very quickly and season passes ensure a good reliable income stream from which to draw construction funding.
Now, I confess those are the only "dim spots" in my book and I'm a pretty demanding person.
Terrain-wise, I think TBM has plenty of fun stuff, including a few spots that will pacify the budding Corbet's shredder. When it has a typical snow year, it can be fantastically good quality snow all over the mountain. This means that a huge variety of terrain is within a chair ride or two from wherever you are on the mountain. I have found nice deep powder stashes up to 2 weeks after the last dump. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
The big long blue groomers -- Toni Matt, The Big Ravine, Moe Mentum -- are a big GS turner's delight.
The huge bouldered/tree stumped natural moguls in Elephants Graveyard can be pretty tough work when the snow isn't perfect
Fairly steep mogul runs are straight off the top lodge, running directly beneath Chair 7, and they have some gladed sections and open sections, giving all kinds of flavor. Right next door is Big Horn, a steep little drop into a wide cruddy mogul field.
And on bluebird days, the view is stupendous.
Other bonuses - 2 hours from Fernie, 1 hour from Blacktail, 2 hours from Snowbowl. On a good snow day, Snowbowl will kick your butt sideways, but you'll be grinning the whole time. It's a tough cowboy skier mountain, funky fall lines and nice natural features. It was the home mountain of Mark Elling, who wrote the excellent "The All-Mountain Skier," before he got wooed away to a nicer area.
So that's a bit of a start... [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]